Spero Studio’s Jenelle Coy on investing in communities of color

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Jenelle Coy found her entrepreneurial spirit early in her career. After working as a consultant for several years in Washington, D.C., Coy wanted to do more creatively. In 2018, she started Spero Studio, a communication strategy firm serving corporate and advocacy clients in the nation’s capital.

In the last year, Spero launched a national campaign for The Motley Fool to help women build wealth. “They came to us to figure out how to get women and people of color investing,” said Coy, 29. “We landed on an investor’s blog and course around investing with your friends.”

Spero also produced digital content alongside biopharmaceutical company Amgen and members of Congress on behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. That work delved into the disparities in biomarker testing for cancer care. 

“Bringing DEI investments to life in the health care sector is crucial to nurture thriving communities of color,” Coy said. “When brands don’t invest in and speak to communities of color, not only are they shortchanging themselves and their own futures, but they’re missing out on the opportunity to double down on their own bottom line today.” She added that a lack of such investment is not sustainable for long-term growth.

Though a few years old, Spero Studio is still in growth mode and recently hit several internal milestones. The team has grown to 15 employees and Coy was able to get everyone together for a company retreat, where she announced a 10% matching 401(k) plan and down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers.

If you could have dinner with one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Megan Markle. I think that there is something so compelling about the guts that it takes to leave an institution like the British royal family, and the guts to go on “Oprah” and talk about what you experienced—all while facing criticism on social media.

What are the top two social media sites you use on a regular basis?

Instagram and Reddit—they have a forum for everything!

What’s currently on your bedside reading list?

I’m reading “Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe” by Robert Lanza. It’s about quantum theory and focuses on the idea that science is about how the universe creates consciousness. But he thinks it’s the opposite, that consciousness creates our world. I can normally sit down and finish a book in one sitting, but I’m having to read this one more slowly. 

What was the last show you binge-watched?

I don’t watch a lot of TV, but the last thing I watched was “Severance” on Apple+.

At what age do you hope to retire?

45.